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Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power (or don't misunderestimate the King's arms)
Thanks to Dr. Carpenter for the news about the upcoming
study on the TRex' arm pathology/injury patterns that
confirms what I have believed ever since its been
observed that the TRex arms appear unusually
well-muscled for 'vestigial' limbs.
Looking at them - and the claws which are certainly
large enough and unusually so for 'vestigial limbs' -
one word comes to mind:
Not strong enough to hold prey by themselves perhaps,
but certainly helpful to hold it in place or stabilize
it while the jaws did their 'dirty work'. It seems to
me that the arms would have been quite useful, given
the weight behind them, while the animal quickly
adjusted its bite to get a better 'death chomp'. This
scenario would fit in neatly both with the documented
'Schwarzeneggerian biceps' of the TRex and the injury
patterns observed in the study referred to by Dr.
One last thought - Everyone seems to envision the TRex
battling a 5-ton Edmontosaurus or 7-ton Triceratops in
these discussions. But 'going after the young or
aged/weak' individuals that applies to big cats today
almost certainly applied to Theropod hunting strategy
as well. So odds are that TRex very seldom risked
major injury/and/or a fatal one by going after the 'big
Daddies' of the prey heards. And the infirm, younger or
smaller individuals would have been easier to 'hold'
with those meathooks than a multi mega-ton monster.
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